English immigrants who came from Europe to start a new life in colonial North America soon discovered that the methods they used in organizing and training companies of militia for the protection of their farms and homes, based on what they had practiced in Europe, were ill suited for waging war against the native tribes that inhabited the continent.
The natives simply would not fight as thought proper by their European counterparts, they fought “spread out and thin,” using hit and run tactics that kept the militiamen off balance never knowing from which direction the next attack might come. The natives equipped themselves as lightly as possible when conducting raids on the English settlements, and passed on their skills and tactics to the French partisan troops who sought to keep the English settlements confined to the east coast.
In order to combat these threats a new type of soldier was needed that could wage war against the French and Indians by utilizing the same skills and tactics that the enemy used, and with this need the Ranger was born. A Ranger was a soldier selected for his ability as a woodsman, as well as for his courage and stamina. Rangers began to patrol or “range” the frontiers of the English colonies to be a sort of “early warning system” against French and Indian raids into the backcountry settlements. As their skills and abilities increased so did their value as a vital part of any military conflicts that occurred during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
This book gives a detailed look at the use of rangers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, the Mohawk Valley, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia during the colonial period in North America. This volume also contains a large bibliography of books, pamphlets, and websites used in the research of this book, as well as an index of names, subjects, and historical places contained in the book.
Over fifty period maps, paintings, illustrations, and photographs compliment the text. 2011, 5½x8½, paper, index, 380 pp. $32.50